Wal-Mart: Staying on Top of the Fortune 500
A Case Study on Wal-Mart Stores Inc.
This case study was produced for the Corporate Strategy and Public Affairs Lecture,
The Graduate School of Political Management, George Washington University.
April 2002, Washington DC
Contributors to this Report:
Patrick Hayden, Seung Lee, Kate McMahon, Mike Pereira
The case study is an examination of how Wal-Mart's Corporate Strategy affects its
Public Affairs and Government Relations Strategy
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is the largest retail company in the United States and has been
ranked number one on the Fortune 500 Index by Fortune Magazine. Wal-Mart has four
parts to their corporate strategy.
1. Dominance in the Retail Market
2. Expansion in the U.S. and International Markets
3. Creation of Positive Brand and Company Recognition
4. Branch Out into New Sectors of Retail
Wal-Mart’s public affairs strategy must work to make implementation of these policy
goals happen. Its public affairs strategy enables the company to move into other sectors
of the marketplace and expand into foreign countries. The public affairs strategy also
involves gaining access to politicians who can help Wal-Mart achieve its goals. WalMart has a very active Political Action Committee that gives almost a quarter million
While Wal-Mart’s public affairs strategy works well with its corporate strategy. W e feel
that there are a few recommendations which could make the company work better.
Recently, Wal-Mart has been criticized for their opposition to allowing their employees
to be unionized. Wal-Mart needs to clarify their reasons for their opposition to
unionization. The public affairs strategy must also address the negative feelings
harbored by some groups who feel that Wal-Mart is encroaching into far too many other
sectors retail than it should. These concerns must be addressed if Wal-Mart is to enjoy